Saturday, January 5, 2013
Plato is your Tango Teacher?
Plato is setting up a tango studio in your town. Everyone is talking about Plato teaching tango. His classes are full of students, eager to learn.
He is supposed to be the wisest and most knowledgeable teacher in your country. You sit at his feet. He has diagrams that show you where the students' feet should be. He talks about classic tango music and how to dance musically. You learn cool moves: Volcadas, sacadas, colgadas, enrosques and pivots. There is no end to the sequences of beautiful moves you can learn from Plato.
But you notice something. He doesn't enjoy dancing with any woman. When he dances you see him looking at the door, the clock. His face is one of sadness or boredom when he dances.
Sorry, that is not Plato, but a counterfeit teacher. Perhaps, he's really good at molding students to look just like him. He creates others in his image and likeness
-- fantastic dancers who are unhappy to the core because no one is good enough to dance with them. I say this not out of disdain. They too can return to basics or go back to their day job.
Plato is truly a great teacher. The real is eternal. Each step on earth may be wonderful, but still is mutable and mortal -- only a shadow of the eternal idea. Plato's goal for his students is to get closer to the human condition in relationship with true eternal substance. His goal for you is to find the connection of soul, body and spirit.* The volcadas, sacadas, colgadas, enrosques, and pivots are the shadows on the wall of the cave.
Distance yourself this counterfeit teacher! Otherwise, his end (unhappiness) will become your destination as well. With the teacher who dances without soul, you have no one to model the joy of lifelong dancing.
Tango is three simple things. The warm and natural embrace, two people embodying the music, and tandem harmonic movement. The overall goal is to find peace, closeness, to be present with your own inner world, and to respect the souls who have assented to walk with you on this wooden path to the immortal truth.
Go find Plato.
* Soul (psyche = the spectrum of knowing/feeling), body (embodiment), and spirit (pneuma = wind or breath: phrasing of breath is musical phrasing, musica humana).
Plato's bust: photo credit (click here): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato